- Cleaner Seas Group’s circular solution to capturing, harvesting and recycling microfibres from domestic washes wins Ocean Impact Pitchfest 2023
- Cornish green-tech’s retro-fit filters prevent up to 91 million microfibres from entering our oceans per household per year
Cornish start-up Cleaner Seas Group (CSG) has won one of the world’s most prestigious awards for improving the health of our Oceans, thanks to its pioneering work on a groundbreaking circular solution to capturing and recycling microfibres filtered out from domestic and commercial washing machines.
Pitted against 200 businesses from 54 countries, the British green-tech business, which already counts Coldplay, the UK government, and investors such as SFC Capital amongst its backers, succeeded in scooping the prestigious international Ocean Impact Pitchfest 2023 Award in Australia on 22 November, with its Indi™ home microfibre filter.
In addition to winning a prize pot of $50,000 AUSD to help the winner accelerate its growth, Cleaner Seas Group also won the right to pitch its groundbreaking capture system to high profile Australian businesses interested in its technology.
Launched just seven months ago, Cleaner Seas Group’s Indi™ home microfibre filter has been making significant waves. It has already been nominated for The Earthshot Prize and scooped the internationally significant Ocean Impact Pitchfest 2023 award, held in Sydney.
The business is part of a new wave of green tech businesses taking advantage of the rapidly growing green economy. The UK government estimates that the global market opportunity for UK companies could be as large as £1 trillion by 2030.
The Cleaner Seas Group (CSG), based in Bude, Cornwall has won one of the world’s most prestigious awards for improving the health of our oceans. It achieved this with a filter which captures 90% of the microplastics produced when we wash our clothes. CSG scooped the prestigious international Ocean Impact Pitchfest 2023 Award in Australia on 22 November with its innovative Indi™ microfibre washing machine filter. The accolade recognises transformative products that significantly contribute to improving ocean health.
Retrofittable to any domestic washing machine in ten minutes, Indi is a plug-and-play filter that instantly stops microfibres from entering the waste-water system, the environment and our oceans. Based on the average weekly household wash, this typically prevents the same amount of plastic as exists in one carrier bag from entering the ocean per household per week; that’s 52 bags worth of plastic per household per year.
If every household in the UK had an Indi™ filter fitted, that would prevent around 91 million microfibres per household per year, or the same amount of plastic as found in 1.3 billion shopping bags, from entering our seas!
This addresses a very real problem, as around 35% of all global releases of primary microplastics into our oceans are estimated to originate from synthetic textiles. With the Indi™ filter, up to 90% of synthetic fibres released in the laundry process are prevented, which helps avoid microfibres and microplastics entering marine life and our food chain.
Retailing for £129.99, with cartridges that last an average of 100 washes, the Indi™ filter, adds to Cleaner Seas Group’s commercial and industrial sector filter technology, which includes their INDIKON industrial filters used by major partners including TUI, Marella Cruises, and Oxwash Launderette, as well as by smaller environmentally conscious businesses such as Whalesborough Holiday Cottages in North Cornwall.
Dave Miller, CEO of Cleaner Seas Group, commented. “It has been a fantastic year for us. We are in a hugely exciting, accelerated growth phase with new products, markets, awards and investments. Increased awareness of the need for microplastic reduction and demand for commercial solutions presents a huge opportunity for us to make a difference, and recognition by an international award of this gravitas can only support our business development further.
“We are currently in the process of raising additional capital to fund the growth of our consumer and industrial filter business lines both in the UK and internationally. Further growth will enable us to innovate to maintain our position as the technological leader in microplastic filtration.”
Dave Miller adds, “Everyone in the company has a personal connection to the ocean. We are surfers, kayakers and wild swimmers and we feel passionately about keeping the oceans free of microplastics. Our filter technology has the potential to dramatically reduce the problem of microfibre pollution, helping to reduce the prevalence of microplastic pollution in the water we drink, the food we eat and the air we breathe. If every washing machine in the UK had a filter fitted, a staggering 63,180 kg of microplastic could potentially be prevented from entering oceans; the equivalent weight of two humpback whales each year.”
James Sirmon, Technical Director of Cleaner Seas Group, explained, “We have worked with universities and partners to inform our research, development and innovation. The filter cartridge contains a spool of microfibre-collecting filter paper. Our in-built sensor technology detects when each section of the cartridge filter paper is full and winds the filter paper along. An intelligent LED warning light system indicates when the cartridge or batteries need replacing and the unlikely event of a filter unit fault. We have designed the product to fit all washing machines worldwide, so it is a global solution for a global problem.”
Tim Silverwood – Co-founder at Ocean Impact Organisation said, “The team at CSG should be immensely proud of this achievement. To be crowned Winner from 200 Pitchfest entries is no small feat. The judging panel were impressed with the potential of the solution to prevent microplastic pollution and the progress made to date. We were thrilled to host Dave and Avril in Sydney and look forward to seeing their future impact in Australia and across the globe. The future looks bright for CSG!”
 This is the weight of the bag itself, not a bag filled with plastic waste